Dear Abby and why the new one sucks

I have been reading Dear Abby since I was a kid. I don’t know why, but I have. Same reason I read Action Line, too. Habit I guess. I just have to say the “new” Abby (her daughter) just isn’t the same and isn’t as good. I think I’m finally going to give up the column.

Her advice simply isn’t as good on any number of topics, including the poor woman was complaining about being groped by an older man. That was in her column the past few days. She has more columns with readers challenging her advice than Dear Abby ever ran.

She’s always yelling “child endangerment” and other terms like they’re always the answer. Yes, sometimes they are. Many times, she’s being utterly frivolous. Just because you don’t agree with someone’s parenting skills doesn’t mean they’re bad or wrong. She’s also fond of words like “abuse” — again many times she’s right but she’s not always right.

I knew she was going to be bad news when, not long after she started, some guy wrote her asking for advice where to get help because he was having thoughts about paedophilia. Now, we can all agree that’s bad. Even the guy knew it was bad, and quite clearly asked where he could get help. Now, an advice columnist’s job is to send that person for help. The guy looking for help isn’t likely to be a problem if he finds help when he knows he needs it. So what did she do? she calls the cops and turns him in. Having bad thoughts isn’t a crime, or we’d all be in jail for something. She could have helped this guy and instead she crucifies him. That really wasn’t the right or charitable thing to do. (Let me be clear if he had acted or indicated he was planning on acting on his thoughts, then she’d possibly be right to turn him. All the media reports quite clearly stated this wasn’t the case.)

I think she’s in over her head. I miss her mother’s advice. It was more often right than wrong

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